Meg Belviso (@sistermagpie)
The first time I went to Sirens it was even better than I’d hoped for. As I waited at the airport for my plane home I was already looking forward to the next year, so I’d really already made my decision to return. Often when you go to a conference there are at least some parts that just get to be too much for two days straight. I found Sirens to be just the right mixture of intense and laid back. The conversations made me intensely focused and enthusiastic about the subject, but the social aspect was really laid-back and friendly. It was easy to talk to just about anybody.
Shveta Thakrar (@ShvetaThakrar)
In 2010, I saw Sherwood Smith talking about Sirens on LiveJournal, and my interest was piqued. A conference about women and fantasy—and the theme that year was “faeries,” a topic that always fascinated me. So I proposed a panel and went, not knowing what to expect.
Well, I got so much more than I could have dreamed. Not only was my panel a success, but I also listened to luminaries like Terri Windling, Holly Black, Ellen Kushner, and Delia Sherman share their insights, I talked and talked about books with really smart, thoughtful women, I met wonderful people who later became my good friends, and I experienced firsthand how vital it is to have a safe space where diverse voices are not only welcomed but genuinely sought out. Above all, the conference was just plain fun. My heart full, I left knowing I would be returning the next year and the next and the next.
I had found my home away from home, my conference, where my voice mattered. Where I could talk about things that make me happy and kindle the spark of passion in my heart. Where every year, I learned more and spoke more and found more kindred spirits and books to add to my never-ending to-read pile. Where I belonged.
And that’s why I’ll be returning yet again this year. I hope to see you there.
Erynn Moss (@erynnlk)
I am an overly enthusiastic reader and Sirens is full of fandom fairydust. Finishing a good book, I want to delve into a deeper level of appreciation of motives and characters and worlds. At Sirens, I get to do that. I’ve sat down to dinner with an author and talked about archaic language (can I drop names? Marie Brennan). I’ve discussed diversity in comic books with a writer of non-graphic novels (Nalo Hopkinson). And even though I didn’t realize it was my fantasy until it was happening, I’ve stayed up until the wee hours of the morning with amazing authors (Guadelupe Garcia McCall and Alaya Dawn Johnson!) and a couple cheeky literary agents, sipping wine, and discussing the fascinating and mysterious publishing industry.
Also, Laini Taylor was really cool and wore the horns I made for her to the Monster Ball even after I awkwardly confessed my love to her. I’m pretty sure she got that I meant it in a bookish way.